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Canadian Olympic Foundation announces Bursary Program for Quebec Olympic Athletes through a new $500,000 gift

MONTREAL (March 7, 2024) – On Thursday, the Canadian Olympic Foundation (COF) announced the Bursary Program for Quebec Olympic Athletes, a new award program established by a $500,000 gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

The program is designed to offer financial relief to athletes from Quebec and aims to help offset the rising costs of training and competition as they strive to represent Canada on the world stage at Paris 2024, Milano-Cortina 2026, and beyond. 

The five athletes that have been selected to receive the inaugural bursary are:

Éliot Grondin, Snowboard (Sainte-Marie, Que.)
Sophia Jensen, Canoe-Kayak (Chelsea, Que.)
Marion Thénault, Freestyle Skiing (Sherbrooke, Que.)
Tammara Thibeault, Boxing (Shawinigan, Que.)
Nathan Zsombor-Murray, Diving (Pointe-Claire, Que.)

“We just adore what we do and we do it with lots of passion, even if it is extremely demanding, with many constraints,” said Thénault. “Consequently, we go through very stressful times. To have less financial stress takes away a huge weight off our shoulders. We can focus on what we love, which is to practice our sport as much as possible. I love representing Canada on the world scene and feel that support from my country and my province. It’s extremely pleasing since we feel that people are behind us and are proud of us. I not only do this for myself, but also for all those who support us.”

“When I was told I had been chosen for the bursary program, I called my mom and started crying,” said Jensen. “In my sport, we don’t get the funding needed for all that we do, especially having our national team training centre based in Nova Scotia when I’m from Quebec. It means so much to me to have financial stress relieved to just focus on my sport and the Olympic dream.”

Recipients will receive $20,000 each year, renewable for up to five years. The program is open to both winter and summer athletes, and recipients were selected based on dedication to high-performance excellence, previous Olympic participation, Olympic potential, and the impact this bursary will have on the athlete’s financial ability to compete on the world stage. 

“We’re thrilled to be able to provide support to Quebec athletes, thanks to this generous investment,” said Jacqueline Ryan, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Foundation and Chief Brand and Commercial Officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee. “Despite our best efforts, athletes still don’t have all the resources they need to compete at the highest levels. Donations like this one provide crucial resources that they need to propel them over the finish line. By offsetting some of the ever-rising costs of training and competing, this gift will have a tremendous impact. I hope it will also inspire others to support Team Canada on the road to Paris 2024 and Milano-Cortina 2026”

“Quebec has a rich sport and Olympic heritage, and there are so many inspiring athletes from this province competing for Team Canada,” said Eric Myles, Chief Sport Officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee. “We’re so grateful to this donor who believes in sport, and understands that their support will make a huge difference to Quebec athletes on their journey to the Olympic Games – not just on the field of play, but on their quality of life as an athlete and on the influence they will have on young people.”

About the Canadian Olympic Foundation:

The Canadian Olympic Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Canadian Olympic Committee, with the joint purpose to transform Canada through the power of sport. Donations to the COF directly benefit Team Canada athletes at all stages of their Olympic journeys, and the high-performance services that support them.

When you invest in an athlete’s journey, you provide key resources needed to propel them over the finish line – and inspire a nation. Join Team Canada at



Peter Saltsman
Senior Manager, Public Relations, Canadian Olympic Committee
C: 647-382-6986

Koteki Inaba
Program Manager, Public Relations, Canadian Olympic Committee
C: 514-861-5791

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Canadian Olympic Foundation
3000-250 Yonge Street, P.O. Box #19, Toronto, ON, M5B 2L7
Charitable Registration No: 817729346RR0001


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